April 7, 2005
The metaphysical properties of Chapstick
Fans of movie trailers for psychological thrillers, especially those that completely fail to portray these thrillers as the taut edge-of-your-seaters that they wish they were, certainly remember the best and funniest non-scary, non-taut trailer ever: the one for The Mothman Prophecies. [Watch the trailer here.]
This movie featured Richard Gere driving around in the dark on country roads, terrorized by some disembodied mothman/evil force/whatever that was somehow connected to the death of his wife. The trailer goes along OK, until one snippet of Richard Gere on the phone with this mothman thing, which whispers to him in a creepy, hissy voice that it was watching him. "What's in my hand, then?" Richard Gere asks, opening his hand to reveal a tube of Chapstick to the camera.
"Chaaaaapstiiick," the mothman thing hisses through the phone.
Richard Gere recoils in horror.
Calling people up on the phone and hissing "Chaaaapstiiick" at them became my favorite new game. Trying to imbue a tube of Chapstick with other-worldly menace is just a bad idea for a movie, and a ridiculous idea for a trailer.
Anyway, the good old Daily News today brings us a story about Steve Jacobs, who works in a Brooklyn nursing home, who says his life was saved by a blessed tube of Chapstick. Two guys with guns (actually one of the guns was a BB gun, for reasons the article does not explain) were shooting each other outside the nursing home, and a bullet flew threw a window and would have blasted right into poor Steve, had he not at that very moment bent over to pick up his Chapstick from the ground.
"I was very fortunate," the doctor's assistant said. "God was with me, no question."
It appears that both God and evil disembodied mothman phantoms can work in many mysterious ways, but both seem to prefer using Chapstick as their vehicle for earthly intercessions.
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